Buck Owens: The Biography by Eileen SiskBuck Owens was the top-selling country act of the 1960s, with 21 number-one hits and 35 consecutive top-ten hits, a total surpassed only by the Beatles. Inventor of the Bakersfield sound, he was hugely popular not only with country fans, but rock fans too. The Beatles covered his songs, Gram Parsons idolized him, the Grateful Dead loved him. At least five marriages, several TV shows, and a publishing and media empire followed. And a number of current country stars, ranging from Dwight Yoakam to Marty Stuart, owe their sound to him.
Yet never before has there been a book about Buck Owens. And the man that emerges from its pages is the polar opposite of the aw-shucks image he cultivated on Hee-Haw. A tight-fisted control freak with an outsized appetite for sex, Owens could be ruthlessly cruel at one moment and as slippery as a snake the next.
Buck Owens chronicles his rise from poverty as son of a sharecropper to one of the nation’s best-loved entertainers, worth at least $100 million when he died. It is authoritative: it counts among its myriad sources five Buckaroos, the producer of Hee Haw, the former president of Capitol Nashville, numerous country singers, relatives, wives, lovers, and employees. This biography fully reveals, for the first time, not only one of country’s biggest stars, but perhaps its biggest son of a bitch.
Bonnie Owens, 76; Singer and Ex-Wife of 2 Country Stars
Buck Owens Dies at Age 76
In the process, he produced some 20 number one country hits and arguably helped create country rock. Yet for all of his groundbreaking musical accomplishments, he was perhaps better remembered as the cohost with fellow musician Roy Clark of Hee-Haw, an immensely popular cornball country-and-western television variety show —86 , to which he contributed increasingly less music and more comedy. Though the hits began to evaporate for Owens in the s, his wealth continued to grow through a series of shrewd media investments. The night before his death, Owens performed at the Crystal Palace , his restaurant and nightclub in Bakersfield. In April the first of his three wives, Bonnie Owens, a country singer in her own right who married Haggard after her divorce from Owens also died. Buck Owens. Info Print Cite.
She was A waitress at a popular bar called the Blackboard, she would sing from time to time and jot original lyrics on cocktail napkins. She and Owens were married in , but their relationship crumbled several years later. Her marriage to Haggard lasted from to , but they continued touring together as recently as In a interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Haggard praised her both as a performer and as a person.
Country music legend Buck Owens has died at the age of He was Owens died at his home in Bakersfield, said family spokesman Jim Shaw. The cause of death was not immediately known. Owens had undergone throat cancer surgery in and was hospitalized with pneumonia in His career was one of the most phenomenal in country music, with a string of more than 20 No. He had a raw edge.